Statement from WaTech Director & State CIO Bill Kehoe on Oct. 18 vaccine requirement

Home » Statement from WaTech Director & State CIO Bill Kehoe on Oct. 18 vaccine requirement
Release Date: 
09/30/2021

As you are aware on Aug. 9, 2021, Governor Jay Inslee issued Proclamation 21-14 – COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement, which was amended on Aug. 20, 2021, by Proclamation 21-14-1 – COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement. Effective Oct. 18, 2021, the Proclamation prohibits state agencies from permitting workers to engage in on-site work for the state if the personnel have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions.

After careful consideration, with safety as our highest priority, we have decided that effective Oct. 18, all customers, vendors, contractor personnel (including subcontractors), and visitors must be fully vaccinated as a condition for entering the State Data Center (SDC) and Quincy Data Center (QDC). Furthermore, accommodations will not be made for individuals not fully vaccinated.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have regularly assessed the risks to worker safety and well-being and have proactively taken measures to protect our staff and others against the spread of COVID within the facilities. However, the unique function and design of the SDC and QDC does not lend itself well to less restrictive safeguards given that the space is designed to accommodate critical infrastructure not people the same as an office building would. Additionally, much of the work conducted in these facilities requires workers to be in close contact and the open space design and airflow make physical distancing less effective.

It is each agency’s responsibility to ensure all Authorized Individuals (including vendors and contractors) be in compliance with the state data center safety requirements. The verification reporting process for vendors and contractors/subcontractors acting on behalf of customers is the same as if they were direct employees of the customer. Only visitors (not Authorized Individuals as they will have already been verified) will be required to produce proof of vaccination as a condition of being escorted within the SDC.

WaTech SDC Physical Security will be reaching out to your agency’s designated Authorizer(s) to start engaging them on the process of updating the access control list for your agency’s Authorized Individuals. If you have any questions regarding this message, please contact WaTech’s Risk & Resilience Manager Wesley Chandler at Wesley.Chandler@watech.wa.gov. Otherwise, if your questions are regarding the reporting process, please contact WaTech’s SDC Physical Security Manager Erik Riske at Erik.Riske@watech.wa.gov.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Bill Kehoe

WaTech Director & State CIO